Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Robert R. Bliss
blissr@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2369

Capital gains collections boost April revenue by $758 million; $587 million over benchmark

Revenue Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal today announced that preliminary revenue collections for April 2011 totaled $2.505 billion, up $758 million or 43.4 percent from the same period a year ago. Total tax collections were $587 million above the monthly benchmark based on the January 18th FY11 revenue estimate of $19.784 billion.

"The strong April collection was largely due to payments with income tax returns and extensions generated by larger than expected investment-related income which produced higher than forecast revenues from taxes due on interest and dividends and capital gains," Commissioner Bal said. "Monthly withholding also registered above benchmark, which is a sign of continuing economic recovery."

DOR expected the April collection to be larger than that of a year ago when many taxpayers took advantage of a filing deadline extension due to flooding and waited until May 11 to file. But the monthly collection of $587 million above benchmark stems from other factors as well, Bal said.

"Capital gains collections are volatile, as we have seen most recently in FY09 when capital gains dropped $1.7 billion due to the economic decline of 2008," Bal said. "For that reason, we should not assume continued revenue growth at this rate. We will examine tax returns filed this fall by those taxpayers who now have extensions to further probe the reasons for this dramatic increase, but it is clear that much of it stems from taxpayers who decided to cash in investments in calendar year 2010, and who are now paying taxes on those realized gains."

April withholding of $804 million was $80 million or 11.1 percent more than a year ago and $102 million above benchmark. Income received with the filing of tax returns and extensions was

$1.176 billion, up $632 million or 116.2 percent from a year ago, $478 million over benchmark. Income tax cash estimated payments of $217 million were up $62 million or 40.1 percent from a year ago, $57 million over benchmark. Income tax refunds of $322 million were up $33 million or 11.3 percent from a year ago, $14 million more than benchmark. Overall, income tax collections were up $742 million, or 65.6 percent and $622 million above benchmark.

Sales tax collections of $407 million were down $6 million or 1.6 percent, $4 million below benchmark.

Corporate/business tax collections of $92 million were up $17 million or 23.4 percent from a year ago but were $34 million below benchmark.

Year to date, income tax collections of $9.602 billion are up $1.498 billion, $682 million above benchmark; sales and use tax collections of $4.082 billion are up $291 million, $1 million below benchmark; and corporate and business tax collections of $1.736 billion are up $76 million or 4.6 percent, $27 million above benchmark.

Total tax collections of $16.860 billion are up $1.927 billion or 12.9 percent, $732 million over benchmark.

FY2011 Year-to-Date Tax Revenue through April 30, 2011 pdf format of april_ytd_revenue.pdf

April 2011 Tax Collection Summary (preliminary as of May 3, 2011) pdf format of april_tax_summary.pdf